paris, eifel tower

Paris, the capital of France, is one of the most iconic and romantic cities in the world. Known as the ‘City of Light’, Paris attracts over 30 million visitors every year who come to see famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and experience the city’s food, art, and culture. This comprehensive Paris city guide covers everything you need to know to plan the perfect Parisian getaway.

Introduction to Paris

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, situated on the River Seine. The city is one of Europe’s major centers of finance, politics, fashion, science and arts. Some top Paris attractions include the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre Coeur Basilica, Arc de Triomphe, Palace of Versailles, and of course, the Eiffel Tower.

Paris offers an endless array of things to do. You can spend your days exploring world-famous museums and galleries, wandering through historic neighborhoods, admiring iconic landmarks, and indulging in French food and wine. As one of the most romantic cities in the world, Paris is also perfect for couples looking for a special getaway.

Why Visit Paris?

There are so many reasons to visit the ‘City of Light’. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • See iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre
  • Wander through charming neighborhoods like Montmartre, Marais, and Latin Quarter
  • Indulge in incredible food, wine, and pastries
  • Explore world-class art museums like the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou
  • Stroll through stunning parks and gardens like Tuileries Garden and Luxembourg Garden
  • Experience the chic Parisian culture, fashion, and nightlife

No matter your interests, Paris has something amazing to offer.

Top Things to Do in Paris

As one of the most visited cities on earth, Paris has endless things to do and major attractions to see. Here are some of the top things not to miss on a trip to Paris:

Must-See Paris Attractions

No trip to Paris is complete without seeing these iconic sights:

Eiffel Tower – The iron lattice tower is the most recognizable landmark in Paris. Go to the top for incredible views.

The Louvre – One of the largest museums in the world, home to famous works like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

Notre Dame Cathedral – The medieval Catholic cathedral is a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.

Arc de Triomphe – The famous triumphal arch sits at the end of the Champs-Elysees. You can climb to the top for panoramic views.

Champs-Elysees – The famous avenue is lined with cafes, cinemas, and luxury shops.

More Top Paris Attractions

Other essential Paris sights include:

  • Sacré-Cœur – This iconic basilica sits atop the Montmartre hill.
  • Palace of Versailles – The opulent palace just outside Paris offers royal luxury.
  • Musée d’Orsay – This museum houses Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces.
  • Montmartre – This charming hilltop neighborhood features the Sacre Coeur basilica.
  • Latin Quarter – The lively student neighborhood is full of cafes and shops.

Paris Hidden Gems

In addition to the major tourist draws, Paris also has some special hidden gems, including:

  • Marais District – This historic neighborhood has trendy boutiques, cafes, and art galleries.
  • Père Lachaise Cemetery – Wander amid the tombstones of famous figures like Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.
  • Canal Saint-Martin – Stroll along the tree-lined canal in a hip, artsy neighborhood.
  • Jardin du Luxembourg – Relax in these beautiful formal gardens.
  • Promenade Plantée – This elevated park built on old railway viaducts offers unique views.

Getting Around Paris

With its extensive public transportation system, getting around Paris is relatively easy. Here’s an overview of Paris transportation:

Reaching Paris

The two main international airports that serve Paris are Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. Both are well connected to the city center by public transportation.

High-speed rail also connects Paris to major European cities like London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne. The Eurostar train reaches Paris from London in just 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Getting Around Paris

Paris Metro – The metro is the fastest and most efficient way to get around Paris. It has 14 lines and over 300 stations. Buy individual tickets or a carnet of 10 tickets to save money.

Buses – A large network of buses covers areas not reached by the metro. Buses can be slower than the metro due to traffic.

Taxis – Taxis are available 24/7 and can be the easiest option if traveling late at night when the metro is closed. Fares are metered.

Walking – Central Paris is compact, so walking between nearby attractions is often the best way to experience the city. Just wear comfortable shoes!

Where to Stay in Paris

With so many amazing neighborhoods to choose from, deciding where to stay in Paris can be overwhelming. Here’s an overview of the top areas and Paris accommodation options:

Paris Neighborhoods

Central Paris – Staying in central neighborhoods like Le Marais, Ile de la Cite, and Saint-Germain-des-Pres puts you right in the heart of the action. It’s the most convenient but also most expensive area.

Latin Quarter – Located on the Left Bank, this lively student area is filled with cafes, shops, and nightlife. It’s a great budget-friendly option.

Montmartre – This charming hilltop neighborhood has amazing views and a village-like feel despite being in the city center.

Types of Accommodation

Hotels – Paris has a wide range of hotels, from luxurious 5-star properties to affordable chain hotels. Rooms book up quickly, so reserve early.

Hostels – Hostels offer budget dorm-style beds as well as private rooms. Great for solo travelers.

Apartments – Apartments are a good choice for families or groups, with options like Airbnb available. The best deals are outside the city center.

Bed and Breakfasts – Paris has many charming, family-run B&Bs known as ‘chambres d’hôtes’ in French. These offer a cozy, local experience.

Paris Travel Tips

Follow these tips during your Paris trip for a smoother visit:

When to Go – The best times to visit Paris are spring and fall when the weather is mild and crowds are smaller. Summer can be hot and overrun with tourists.

What to Pack – Pack comfortable walking shoes, an umbrella for unexpected showers, a travel adapter for electronics, and a small daypack for carrying essentials.

Getting Around – Purchase a carnet of 10 metro tickets to save money on fares. Consider a Paris Museum Pass if you plan to visit multiple sites.

Dining Tips – Try classic French dishes like croissants, crepes, cheese plates, and escargot. Sit at sidewalk cafes for the best people watching.

French Phrases – Learn key French phrases like “bonjour”, “s’il vous plaît” (please), and “parlez anglais?” (do you speak English?).

Safety – Keep valuables close in crowded areas and be wary of pickpockets on public transportation. Only take taxis from official stands.


With its unforgettable landmarks, world-renowned museums, fantastic food, and joie de vivre, Paris offers an unparalleled vacation experience. Follow this Paris city guide to help you easily navigate where to go, what to see, and how to make the most of your visit to the City of Light! Have an amazing trip.